Police officers

Detailed Occupation

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2020 Workforce
798k
Average Age
39.6
Average Salary
$71,020
Average Male Salary
$72,179
Average Female Salary
$63,777

Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Police officers and on wages and locations for those in the field. Justice, public order, & safety activities is the industry that employs the most Police officers, both by share and by number, though the highest paid industry for Police officers, by average wage, is Public finance activities. Police officers are paid most in Rancho Santa Margarita City (East) & Ladera Ranch PUMA, CA but are relatively concentrated in Ashburn, Washington Heights, Morgan Park & Beverly PUMA, IL.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$71,020
AVERAGE SALARY
± $1,087

In 2020, Police officers earned an average of $71,020, $15,066 more than than the average national salary of $55,954.

Property, real estate, & community association managers make somewhat more than Police officers while Human resources workers make somewhat less. This chart shows the various occupations closest to Police officers as measured by average annual salary in the US.

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Wage Distribution

0.274
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Police officers had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.274, which is lower than than the national average of 0.478. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly for Police officers (shown in red) than for the overall labor force (shown in gray).

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Wage by Location

This map shows the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States shaded by average annual wage for Police officers.

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Spatial Concentration

This map displays which Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States have a relatively high population of Police officers.

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Industries

Highest Paying

The highest paying industries for Police officers, by average wage, are Public finance activities, Banking & related activities, and Water, steam, air-conditioning, & irrigation systems.

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Industries by Share

798k
2020 Workforce
± 21,866
2.12%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 3.82%

The number of people employed as Police officers has been growing at a rate of 2.12%, from 780,968 people in 2019 to 797,536 people in 2020.

This graphic shows the share of Police officers employed by various industries. Justice, public order, & safety activities employs the largest share of Police officers at  85.6%, followed by National security & international affairs with 3.64% and Colleges, universities & professional schools, including junior colleges with 2.01%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Police officers in the US. The average age of male Police officers in the workforce is 39.7 and of female Police officers is 38.9, and the most common race/ethnicity for Police officers is White (Non-Hispanic).

Composition by Sex

688k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 20,310
110k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 8,141

86.2% of Police officers are Male, making them the more common sex in the occupation. This chart shows the sex breakdown of Police officers.

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Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity of Police officers
  1. White (Non-Hispanic)
  2. Black (Non-Hispanic)
  3. White (Hispanic)

66% of Police officers are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 13.2% of Police officers, Black (Non-Hispanic) is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. This chart shows the racial and ethnic breakdown of Police officers.

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Age by Sex

39.7
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 0.336
38.9
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.836

The median age of Police officers is 39.6, and Male employees are generally 0.857 years older than than their Female counterparts.

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Education

Data on higher education choices for Police officers from The Department of Education and Census Bureau. The most common major for Police officers is Protective Services but a relatively high number of Police officers hold a major in Protective Services.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degrees. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree obtained.
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